Identity Relationships

Man Love

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In our chaotic world, the idea of man-love has been hijacked by the Woke view that blurs the lines in a wide gamut of areas from sexuality to entitlement. Gender lines are so confusing that minors (children) are being castrated and mutilated in an attempt to put someone in the right body. When you strip away all of the Wokeness, you find what the real issue is. Identity. No one knows who they are anymore.

Masculine. Feminine.

Who am I? According to a recent Google search, one website indicated over 110 different genders. Of course, in reality, there are only two; male sex and female sex. God is the ultimate authority in the entire universe and created us with two sexes. 

Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

In God’s design, heterosexual love is desired. 

Genesis 2:24 – Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

There are exceptions for singleness. God values each person, married or not. In fact, He talks about your marital status as a gift from Him.

1 Corinthians 7:7 – I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

So, what about men loving men?  There are two ways to view that question. One view mixes in sexuality. Love that includes sexual relations between two men. Known as homosexuality, our culture has championed it, and the government has legalized same-sex marriages. In fact, not only does our culture approve of it, they promote young teen boys to explore their sexual development with other guys. A social worker once told me in many cases he works with regarding family custody situations, boys as young as 11 are openly practicing homosexual activity with each other.  We may chalk that up to pubescent discovery, but the truth is male-to-male sexual abuse goes much younger than age 11.

In the Book of Romans (chapter 1) Paul outlines a progression of thinking that first denies God and worships the creation instead of the Creator. 

Romans 1:21 – For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

A few sentences later, Paul says this…

Romans 1:27 – and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

But, that is not the way God intended.

Newsflash! God is MADLY in love with Men! 

In fact, He wants men to love each other in every way humanly possible, except sexually. Sex is reserved for a covenant marriage between a man and a woman. One of the outcomes of healthy, godly, man-to-man love is brotherly affection.  Mentoring Warriors writes about this further in other posts. Use the search bar for Brotherly Affection.

What we as men often do is misinterpret brotherly affection with homosexual tendencies. That’s often due to us looking at man-to-man relationships from a cultural perspective and not a biblical one.

Biblical man-love is rooted in a clear identity in Christ. The two God-given questions every guy has been asking since he was a toddler, and will ask until the day he dies are:

  • Does anyone delight in me?

And

  • Do I have what it takes to be a man?

We need to hear that from other men in our lives. First, from our dads, as well as other older men who have a good influence on us. When we have such, our identity grows increasingly secure (not cocky) such that we can risk depth in our man-to-man relationships.

John Eldredge says it so aptly that masculinity is not given to a man by a woman, whether that be his momma, an aunt, or a grandma.  Masculinity is bestowed from one man to another. Part of that masculinity bestowed definitely includes character. Integrity, courage, and tenacity do not come out of anywhere. They come from someone. Ultimately, it comes from Christ living His life through you. Having a godly man come alongside you to bestow such manhood is vital to growing godly man love.

Here are seven healthy signs of godly, Christ-honoring man-love.

  1. They take the time to spur each other in their faith relationships with Jesus.
  2. They champion each other to have virtue; high moral standards
  3. They foster growth in knowledge. That is an ongoing pursuit of Jesus in all aspects of one’s manhood.
  4. Self-control is mutual. Where a man has a weakness for temptation, godly men step in to redirect and foster making the right choices.
  5. Living with a godly demeanor, you have each other’s backs when the pressure is on.
  6. Brotherly love means I’ll go the extra mile with you. It also means I give you the right to call me out when I am out of line. 
  7. Love. The man-love version means I am courageously vulnerable with you. You are safe and I can trust you with my deepest concerns in my manhood. 

This entire subject of healthy man-love could go on forever, but to wrap up, here are a few thoughts. 

In his book, Wild at Heart, John Eldredge comments that men who struggle with same-sex attraction, are actually more clear on this issue at hand. They are desperate for masculine love but have sexualized it. 

There are healthy, non-sexual physical touches men can have with each other:

  • Man-hug
  • Fist bump
  • Arm around the back
  • Hand on the shoulder
  • Praying over you with hands on your head

As a male, since the day you were born, your soul longs for a man-love that is pure and holy. It validates your soul and delights in bestowing masculinity on you.

This is why having a godly mentor can help you in your journey. Focus on how Jesus loved his disciples and not on the way our culture skews masculine love.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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